Development Beat: New Building Report

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Solar panels at EM Johnson

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Monday, April 18, 2016

After a couple of slow weeks, we’ve finally got two new building permits for commercial projects — and there’s even a demolition job for tomorrow’s post.

We’ll start of with a quick look at the smaller, publicly-funded project at the EM Johnson Water Treatment Plant. English Construction Company will be handling the $1,802,550 build-out of a new 1,640 square-foot electrical building. That’s a pretty high dollar to square-foot ratio!

According to the description on the permits, this building appears to be part of a solar energy project that began at the plant back in 2010. However, the only recent contract with the City we could find for English with the City was a $12,000,000 one for a “Flocculation and Sedimentation Pilot Project” at EM Johnson, so who knows.

Solar panels at EM Johnson

Solar panels at EM Johnson

The overall goal of that pilot project, the City stated at the time, was to increase the capacity of the pilot treatment train, whatever that is, from 12 million gallons per day to 20 MGD with the future expansion capability to 30 MGD. It should be noted that English received an additional $3 million permit for alteration work at the plant last week, specifically dealing with sedimentation basins.

Former Record City Hall Reporter actually wrote a nice piece last year about the history of Raleigh’s water, so if your newsfeed seems a bit dry this morning, go ahead and dive in. 

Here’s a bit about EM Johnson from that article:

“When the population finally hit 100,000, residents the city had to start looking for other water sources that would provide the flow required to keep the faucets running. In 1967 the city built the E.M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant on the Neuse River just as the city began to see a wave of rapid growth.”

We promised two projects today, which means no more history lessons on the EM Johnson plant. Sorry!

A new hotel is coming to North Raleigh, 6408 Capital Boulevard to be specific: right in front of the Triangle Town Center Mall and next to an existing Hilton Garden Inn. The new 5-story, 88-unit Fairfield Inn & Suites will be built by Davidson & Jones Construction at a cost of $6,033,205.

The blue dot indicates the empty lot where the new hotel will be built

Bing Maps

The blue dot indicates the empty lot where the new hotel will be built

The hotel and the site upon which it is being built are owned by hospitality development and management firm Daly Seven. Before you assume that was a typo, let me say this: the first five people on the bio page for this company are all members of the Daly family.

Daly Seven operates a number of hotels throughout the region, including a Staybridge Suites and a Holiday Inn Express near RDU, properties throughout Morrisville and Durham and, drumroll please … the Hilton Garden Inn which this new property is being developed across the parking lot from.

Daly Seven seems pretty successful, and they unquestionably know more about hotel development than the idiot writing this column, so we won’t question their decision to build another hotel practically on top of one they already own. We’re sure it makes sense, somehow.

We actually reported on all this way back when in June of last year, when the developer submitted the site plans to the city. Although the site plans put the number of rooms at 90, it seemed pretty close otherwise, although it did list the square footage at 82,000, while permits put it at a mere 51,560 square feet. The plans also noted some of the hotel’s planned amenities such as an outdoor pool, four handicap spaces and a dumpster area.

The site plan for the new Fairfield Inn and Suites

City of Raleigh

The site plan for the new Fairfield Inn and Suites

Back in June, we noted that future hotel guests should consider themselves lucky to be within walking distance of an Arby’s; but thanks to recent opening of a second location by local donut chain Baker’s Dozen, those future guests should also be able to grab some of the region’s best donuts the next time they’re in town.